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Callforjudgement's Standard Rules

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I like to ensure that my ruleset covers everything that could happen in the game (and in particular, so that new players can discover how things work for themselves rather than needing to learn). Unfortunately, this tends to make the rules rather long and experienced players often skip them.

This page aims to be a solution to the problem: it's a fully detailed ruleset so that new players can learn how the game works, whilst experienced players can skip to the setup-specific details. Because the space requirements are less important, the rules have been expanded upon to explain why they're there, partly in the hope that knowing the reason behind a rule will make it less likely to be broken, and partly as a guide for other moderators who are designing their own ruleset.

Nothing here is intended to be surprising or controversial; if a setup needs an unusual or varying rule, it had better go directly in the second post so that players read it. See §Appendix: The Second Post to see what information varies from game to game.

A. The Most Frequently Broken Rules

If you're new and don't want to read the rest of the page, at least read these.

  1. Players are expected to be active within the game.
    See §Prods and Activity for the details of inactivity punishments. However, you should be aiming to post much more often than this! The activity requirements are designed to allow for occasional problems visiting the site, but you should aim to post almost every day, and be online for a while after your posts so that you can answer questions from other players who are online at the time.
  2. Do not discuss Mafia games outside their game threads until they have finished.
    Talking about a game which has completed and had the result announced by the moderator is fine, but if the game hasn't finished yet, talking about it has the potential to influence its result and thus can ruin the game. That goes in both directions; you can't talk about this game elsewhere, and you can't talk about other games here (or anywhere else). About the most you can do is talk about how many threads a player is posting in (this is OK even if the threads happen to be game threads, but don't say anything about the content of the posts or the state of the games in question).
  3. Do not discuss the spelling, timestamps, etc. of any non-public communication.
    You're free to discuss the content of things like your role PM, things you heard in a neighbourhood Private Topic, or the like. However, Mafia is at least partly a game of deception, and thus players should also be free to lie about such things. Allowing players to disprove such a lie by technical means (e.g. "What's the wording of your Vanilla Townie PM? I'll see if it's the same as mine.") is against the spirit of the game; to help enforce this, discussing information that could help in such a disproof, such as the wording of a role PM, is banned. As such, you need to paraphrase any private information that you want to make public ("I'm a Vanilla Townie" is fine even if the role PM uses those words because they're fairly predictable, "my role PM is four lines long" or the like isn't, and a screenshot of the role PM definitely isn't).
  4. Stay civil to the other players.
    It's a game, it's about having fun, not about upsetting people. Trying to rile someone up is a legitimate tactic, but personal attacks and insults are not a legitimate way to go about it.

B. Basic Gameplay

  1. Each player is randomly assigned to a team, or "faction". Different factions may (usually do) differ in nature from each other.
    To clarify: random assignment here means that the composition of each faction is decided by the moderator by advance, but which players are assigned to which factions is randomized. The most commonly seen factions (and the only ones you will see in most games) are:
    • Town. This faction's main advantage is its numbers; town nearly always has considerably more players than the other factions combined. This indirectly gives the town a lot of control over the result of any votes that might be held. If the town loses its majority in numbers, and thus its ability to control votes, it is typically helpless or nearly so; this often makes it inevitable that the other factions can wipe it out. The town also has a major disadvantage: "townies" do not know who is and isn't a member of their faction, and a large part of the gameplay is spent trying to figure it out.
    • Mafia. The Mafia have many fewer members than the town, but have some major advantages to compensate. The exact bonuses vary from game to game, but almost invariably include knowledge of other team members and some form of private communication; they often also include some way to eliminate players behind the back of the normal voting mechanism. In most games, the Mafia serve as the main rivals to the town.
    • Werewolf. Werewolves are a separate faction from the Mafia, but otherwise follow the same rules. Most games will have either Mafia or Werewolves (it is possible for a game to have both, but rare; Mafia are rather more common than Werewolves). Town might or might not know who their opponents are.
    • Self-aligned. It's possible for a player to be in a faction of size 1, winning only for themself. Such players invariably will have extra powers to compensate. (The most common example of a self-aligned player is the Serial Killer.)
  2. A player will be informed of their faction and role information by PM. The PM will contain information on how to confirm that you understand your role and are ready to play. The game starts once at least 80% of players have confirmed (after which point, failing to confirm counts as inactivity).
    Confirmation's used to detect players who sign up for a game and then change their mind, and to force players to read their role PM. Signups can last a long time, and players sometimes disappear while the game is still in the signup phase. The 80% threshold is designed to ensure that at least one anti-town player is active in the game before it starts.
  3. A faction wins if it survives longer than all other factions, or nothing can prevent this. A player wins if their faction wins.
    In almost every case, Mafia is purely a team game; you do what you can to help your team win. A faction survives in the game until all its players are eliminated (or nothing can prevent their elimination, e.g. if town lose majority then they are often doomed to die, and if only one other faction is left they may well immediately win). Note that being eliminated does not prevent you from winning (although it does, in most cases, make it impossible for you to further influence the game, so you become a spectator instead and can root for your team in the spectator thread).
  4. If no eliminations are possible at night and no faction controls a majority of the votes, all town members are eliminated. If every player is eliminated, the factions that lasted longest share a draw.
    Keeping control of the vote is one of the most critical requirements for town. As such, wresting control of the vote from town (even if you don't gain control in the process) is morally a win for an anti-town faction, and it's thus legally treated as one too. In some games (especially Nightless games), this is the only way for an anti-town faction to win (this happens when they have no means to eliminate players other than tricking the town into voting for them; and town could otherwise force a draw in a game they "should" lose via ceasing to vote in order to avoid accidentally voting for a townie).
  5. Gameplay is divided into phases, typically following a set pattern; each of these is a day phase or night phase.
    The pattern of phases is in most cases predetermined, although occasionally it will depend on events during the game. The game's second post will give information on the phase pattern in use during the game (or how to determine it, in the case that it varies). Phases are normally numbered for convenience (with night and day phases numbered separately). Note that when "Day" and "Night" are spelled with a capital letter, as in "toDay", this is referring to a day (or night) phase rather than a real-life day (or night); to avoid ambiguity, real-life timespans are often measured in hours or weeks rather than days (although a measurement like "10 days" is probably referring to real-life days, as few games have 10 day phases). The most commonly seen phase patterns are:
    • Day Start: Day phases and night phases alternate, starting with a day phase: Day 1, Night 1, Day 2, Night 2, etc.
    • Night Start: Day phases and night phases alternate, starting with a night phase: Night 0, Day 1, Night 1, Day 2, Night 2, etc.
    • Nightless: Night phases do not occur (except maybe in special cases in response to events in the game): Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, etc.
    • Double Day: Two day phases are followed by one night phase and repeat, typically numbered like this: Morning 1, Afternoon 1, Night 1, Morning 2, Afternoon 2, Night 2, etc.
  6. During a day phase, (non-eliminated) players vote for a player to eliminate. Use the [vote] tag to cast your vote, e.g. [vote]callforjudgement[/vote].
    This is the town's main method of eliminating its opponents, and is known as lynching. Because the town have the most members at the start of the game, they have control over the vote, and will almost certainly use it to eliminate anyone they can identify as belonging to another faction (townies have a tendency to call such players "scum"). As such, members of other factions need to pretend to be part of the town in order to blend in (and misleading the town as to who is in which faction is a major part of anti-town gameplay).
    Votes that don't follow the required syntax might or might not be counted. (In order to have a chance at being counted, a vote needs to at least be bolded and distinguishable from the surrounding text.) Trying to play games with whether or not a vote is a "real" vote or not is discouraged.
  7. If you change your mind about a vote, you can [unvote][/unvote] to remove it, or replace it with a vote for a different player.
    Unvoting before revoting isn't really helpful to the moderator, because they have to check for votes anyway. It can be helpful to the other players, though, so it's worth doing it as a courtesy to them. Of course, if you want to remove your vote from every player, you can just unvote without immediately revoting.
  8. The moderator will maintain a "vote count" of the most voted-for players. Specifically, the list is maintained in sorted order by the number of votes on each player. If there is a tie between one or more players, they will remain in the same relative order as on the previous vote count.
    The vote count is typically posted in the thread approximately once per real-life day, although it's conceptually updated in realtime whenever a vote is made (so, e.g., in the simple case where two players have one vote each, and those are the only two votes that have happened all phase, the player who was voted for first will be at the top of the vote count). With some voting methods, the order in which ties are listed on the votecount (and thus the order in which votes are made) can theoretically be relevant, although it rarely ends up mattering in practice.
    If you see what you think is an error on the vote count, please let me know. If something weird is going on (such as the number of votes on a player differing from the number of players voting for that player due to the effect of a power role or the like), I'll try to make it clear on the votecount that something weird is going on and the mismatch is intentional; if a mistake doesn't look obviously intentional, it's almost certainly just a mistake.
  9. Each day phase has a deadline, and ends at the deadline. It can end early if more than half the votes are on the same player; (with majority voting) at least half the players vote to end the day ([vote]No Lynch[/vote]); or if doing so is necessary to prevent town gaining an advantage from rulebreaking.
    By far the most common reason for a day to end is for more than half the votes to be on the same player. The deciding vote is colloquially known as the hammer; and once the hammer's been made, it cannot be taken back. Other reasons for day end are fairly rare (because hammering typically produces a better result for town and townies, or players pretending to be townies, will typically hammer "in an emergency" to prevent the day timing out.) Note that even after a hammer, the day phase does not officially end until the moderator gets online to confirm it (although votes beyond the hammer will not be counted). A No Lynch vote replaces a vote to lynch a player (you can't vote for an early day end and for a player at the same time).
  10. When a day ends, a player may be eliminated based on the vote count. The specific method will be specified in the second post.
    There are two common ways to determine the eliminated player:
    • Majority. A player will be eliminated if they have more than half the votes. Otherwise (e.g. because players voted to end the day early, and thus No Lynch has at least half the votes), no player will be eliminated.
    • Plurality. The player at the top of the vote count will be eliminated (regardless of how many or how few votes they have, although note that as the vote count is sorted by the number of votes, the player in question will have the most votes or be tied for the most votes). If no player has any votes on them, a player will be eliminated at random. This variant is used in setups where No Lynch would not be a deterrent to failing to lynch by deadline, or when a lynch is mandatory for other reasons.
  11. Most gameplay takes place in the main game thread. During day phases, (non-eliminated) players can post in this thread. During night phases, the thread is locked.
    Votes are placed in the game thread, too. The main purpose of the game thread is for players to talk to each other: townies are trying to talk to each other, identify each other, and identify anti-town players, but complicating this is the fact that the other players are also in the same thread and pretending to be town. You can't post about the game outside its game threads, so if it's the only game thread you have access to, pretty much everything you want to say publicly about the game has to go there (or wait until postgame).
  12. Mafia and Werewolves will be given a private game thread to discuss the game with other members of their faction. (As usual, eliminated players cannot post outside the spectators thread, and so cannot post in their private thread.)
    Depending on the game, this thread might be open all the time (daytalk), or only during Night phases. The game's second post will specify which ruleset applies to this. These private threads are only accessible to members of your faction (and the moderator), so if you're anti-town, you can use the thread to discuss strategy openly with your fellow coconspirators without needing to worry that your posts there will give your faction membership away.
    Even if daytalk is unavailable, factions with private communication can use it to talk to each other after role PMs are sent out, but before the game officially starts (i.e. during confirmations). Normally this isn't much more than just saying "hi", but you can talk strategy if you think you have something to say.
  13. Players may have power roles, and factions may have factional abilities, that give them extra powers (or occasionally drawbacks). Some powers are passive and take effect automatically. Other powers are typically used during Night phases, by contacting the moderator.
    There are two possible ways to contact the moderator. One option is to send the moderator a Private Message; if you're town, this is likely the only option you have access to, because the game thread will be locked overNight. You can also communicate with the moderator using a bolded message in a game thread, e.g. I'd like to use my nightkill on callforjudgement; the Mafia commonly do this to help them keep tabs on their use of the factional abilities. If a player submits contradictory actions (e.g. attempting to use a once-per-night action twice in a night), the later submission will take precedence.
    Incidentally, power roles are typically distributed the same way that faction membership is; the moderator will decide in advance which power roles each faction will have (if any), and randomize which member of the faction the role is given to. If a game uses some other method for distributing power roles, it will be stated in the second post.
  14. If you do not want to use a power role, and it does not have limited uses or a similar reason why you'd want to avoid using it, please let me know explicitly. Otherwise, if you don't submit an action, I will try to determine an action based on your statements in the game threads (especially factional communication threads) or randomly.
    If only one player is absent from the site over a night phase, and an action goes missing, it's not normally very hard to figure out who it belonged to. Replacing a player overNight can also be a giveaway that they have a power role (because if they didn't, it might be non-obvious that they were inactive and thus their replacement would happen later). As such, I try to figure out what action you would have taken (and randomize among the reasonable options if my extra knowledge as the moderator makes it hard to choose objectively). I'll try to remind players of the need to submit an action or no action by PM before it gets to the stage of needing to generate artificial actions for them.
  15. Unless stated otherwise in the second post or the role PM, all anti-town factions have the following factional ability:
    Each Night, one member of your faction may choose a player. Unless something blocks or otherwise interferes with this action, that player will be eliminated.
    This mechanism gives Mafia, Werewolves, and Serial Killers a method of eliminating players from the other factions. (Note that they can of course also eliminate players via tricking town into voting for them during the Day phases; in Nightless games, that option is often the only method available.) Note that although the ability belongs to the faction, a specific player has to use it; this matters in games with action limits, and in games which have methods of interfering with or gaining information about actions based on which player was responsible for them.
  16. By default, no player can target themself with an action, and eliminated players cannot perform actions.
    Obviously, an action that is only capable of targeting yourself will do so; however, if you get a choice as to who to aim an action at, you have to aim it at someone else. And as usual, eliminated players don't get to influence the game.
  17. Some games have a limit on the number of actions that can be performed by a single player in a single night phase. Any limits that apply will be stated in the second post.
    Common action limits include:
    • Unlimited: If a player has access to multiple actions, they can perform them all. For example, a Mafia Roleblocker could block a player and kill another player at the same time, if they wanted. (Likewise, they could block and kill the same player, just block, just kill, or perhaps even do nothing.)
    • 1 personal, 1 factional: A player can perform one action based on their power role per night (a personal action), and also one action based on a factional ability the same night. However, they can't use two different personal actions at the same time.
    • 1 total: If a player is performing a factional action, they can't perform a personal action in the same night (and vice versa).
    • 1 total unless alone: Similar to the previous case, except that if a player is the last remaining (i.e. non-eliminated) member of their faction, the restriction is lifted, allowing that player to perform both their personal and factional abilities in the same night.
  18. Night phases have a deadline, and will end at that deadline (moving onto the next phase). If every living player PMs the moderator to request a shorter night, the night will end as soon as the moderator has verified that all the PMs were received.
    Because the Mafia typically have more to do than the town do overnight, it's important for the integrity of the game to not give away who's busy overnight and who's happy for it to end, and that includes things like allowing the players to guess who asked for an early night via their timezone. As such, any mechanism for ending a night phase early needs to be symmetrical with respect to all players; so if you're happy to end the Night early, you need to tell the moderator that even if you don't have any Night-usable actions.
  19. When a player is eliminated, their faction and power role information will become public knowledge.
    This basically serves as a source of evidence for the town that doesn't unbalance the game. Without a mechanic like this, town play can be somewhat aimless sometimes, as they have no way to tell how well they were doing or to know whether they need to re-assess their reads.

C. Fair Play

  1. Do not join the same game under multiple accounts.
    One of the main jobs of townies is to determine who's on which faction. If multiple accounts belonging to the same person are playing the same game, then that person will necessarily know which factions all their accounts are on, defeating the point of the game.
  2. Please try to post from the correct account (the account with which you signed up to play the game). If you post from the wrong account by mistake, repeat the post from the correct account.
    Players often use the isolation feature of the forum to read posts from just one player. Posting from the wrong account disturbs that.
  3. Play to win.
    Mafia is a game about players trying to deceive each other and/or see through each others' deception; and most of the fun of the game comes from the battle of minds with your opponents. If that becomes trivial due to an opponent throwing the game, or impossible due to a team-mate throwing the game, much of the fun is lost. Unlike some games, which are most fun when the players are trying to keep things interesting, Mafia is normally at its most fun when everyone is trying their best to win.
    In the vast majority of games, players' win conditions are fixed and cannot change. In games where win conditions are capable of changing, "playing to win" can include aiming to gain an easier-to-fulfil win condition and achieving that, in addition to or as an alternative to attempting to achieve your current win condition.
    Claiming to be part of anything other than the game's town faction, or claiming the names of members of your own non-town faction, is typically assumed to be playing against your win condition unless you can provide a good explanation of how it helps your faction to win. (An example of where this behaviour can potentially be helpful is claiming one anti-town faction in a situation where town would prefer to lynch a member of a different anti-town faction. There are others.)
  4. Treat each game as its own independent entity: don't sacrifice your win chances in this game to help win a future game, to gain payback for a past game, or the like. If you did sabotage your win chances in a previous game to gain an advantage in future games, you may not play in an unusual way to benefit from your past offences.
    This is really just an expansion of the play-to-win rule (and your team-mates are definitely going to be unhappy if you ruined their chances this game in favour of a different set of team-mates in another game!). As an example, you can't (when playing Mafia) intentionally break a pattern that you've established as part of your town play, in order to be able to return to the pattern in a later game to "prove" yourself as town; and if you do, then you must break the pattern in future games (even when town) so that you don't gain an advantage from your previous cheating. Don't worry too much about violating this rule by mistake; most violations in practice are highly flagrant. See the article on trust tells for more information on this subject.
  5. Don't make agreements in the game that last outside the course of the game (either in terms of time, i.e. lasting after the game has ended, or in terms of play, i.e. affecting your activities outside the game itself).
    Games should be independent. It's unfair on players to need to do something external to the game to play maximally towards a win, and runs the risk of tangling games up with each other, which can force players to sacrifice win chance in one game to benefit another, thus violating the play-to-win rule in at least one game. As such, this sort of activity is banned.
  6. In most cases, you won't have the technical ability to edit or delete posts that are part of the game. Even if you do somehow have this ability, please do not use it. (Exception: the moderator may need to edit or delete posts for moderation reasons or to update records of the game.)
    If you've made a mistake, you have to live with it. In games like chess, you can't "take moves back". In Mafia, the equivalent of making a move is often making a post, as much of the game is posting and reacting to the posts of those around you; and you don't get to take those back either.
    There are a few edit-like circumstances that may come up during a game, but don't violate this rule:
    • You can, of course, simply explain that you made a mistake in your post and specify a correction, with both the original post and the correction visible (so no history is being rewritten). In the case where you made a typo that changed the nature of what you were saying, this is sometimes done using the phrase EBWOP ("edit by way of post"), to indicate that this post is a correction of the previous one.
    • If someone else posts while you're composing your post, you'll be shown the intervening post and be given a chance to change or cancel your post if you wish. Your own post hasn't gone through and was never public, and therefore it's still legal to change it at this point (perhaps to add a response to the intervening posts). The phrase PEDIT ("preview edit") is often used by players to show the point at which this sort of last-minute change occurred (especially if the post would be hard to understand without knowledge that the messages crossed).
    • If you badly screw up the markup or formatting in your post (most commonly, incorrectly nesting [quote] tags), moderators are often willing to fix the formatting for you so that your post is more readable. Put in a bolded request in a subsequent post. The content of the post will not be changed, only the formatting. (A similar principle applies to deleting duplicate posts; no content is being lost. In this case, the moderator will often edit a post to say "duplicate of post #123" or the like rather than deleting the post entirely, so that the post numbering is not thrown off.)
  7. Most game threads are only for the use of non-eliminated players. If you aren't participating in the game, or are eliminated, discussion of the game must be in its spectator thread.
    Moderators will grant access to the spectator thread on request (and often to eliminated players automatically, as they tend to be rather more invested in the game than spectators from outside). Remember the rules about discussing ongoing games; the spectator thread is a legal place to discuss the game, but you can't take knowledge from that thread (or from any of the other game threads) elsewhere until the game is over. The purpose of having a separate spectator thread is so that information can be discussed there without influencing the game's remaining players (who will not have access to it). Players will not be allowed into the spectator thread until their elimination for obvious reasons. (The thread will become public when the game ends.)
    Note that you can still talk in the game thread until your elimination becomes official; even if you've been hammered, you can still post until the moderator announces the end of the phase and your elimination. You can't post in the game threads (other than the spectator thread) at all after you're eliminated, though (unless there's a game-specific rule or a power role making this possible).
  8. Do not use technical or cryptographic means, or non-public knowledge from outside the game, to hide a message.
    For example, do not use encryption or small text, hide information in forum markup that's not visible on the page, or ensure that only a subset of players can understand your post via referencing events that happened offsite and that only certain players were involved in. The technique of breadcrumbing is legal; this is a situation in which anyone can decode the message if they're aware that it's present, but the message is likely to be missed on a first reading and discovered only when someone is searching for it / aware of which post it's in. (See the linked page for more information.)
  9. Do not communicate with other players about the game privately, except via use of the game threads.
    Mafia is a game about communication, and thus restrictions on communication are part of the balance of the game. Communicating via private message or the like gains an unfair advantage. (Some communication, such as one-way communication from a player who's still participating to an eliminated player, gains no advantage; however, you must send such messages via the moderator rather than directly in order to avoid any chance of communication in the "wrong" direction, or players mis-assessing what communication would be harmless.)
  10. Do not use provable randomness. (It's totally OK to make decisions randomly if you wish, but you can't take steps to prove they were made randomly.)
    The whole point of the voting system is to allow town to try to collectively make a decision, but their opponents to try to subtly interfere with the decision-making process and guide it to a result that suits them better. If players can prove a decision was made at random, that allows for a mechanism that's impossible to interfere with, thus rather negating this part of the game. (Simply claiming a decision was made at random, without any way to prove it, is fine; players can make the claim whether the decision is random or not.)
  11. Do not pretend to break the rules (even if none of the other rules are actually being broken).
    You can't copy-and-paste a role PM into the thread. This is the case even if the role PM in question is a fake one you made up rather than one that the moderator gave you for the game.
  12. Do not try to gain an advantage from rulebreaking, regardless of who breaks the rule.
    For example, if you see a player from a different faction violate the rules and the moderator misses it, don't "hang on to" the rule violation so that you can use it to get that person in trouble later on; report the issue to the moderator immediately. Reporting rules violations is fine; trying to use them as a weapon isn't.
  13. Do not publicly discuss potential replacements; in particular, do not discuss the game if you are replacing out, and do not try to encourage other players to replace out.
    Replacements aren't "part of the game"; they're intended to keep the game going when something goes wrong in Real Life or adjustments are needed after rulebreaking. Therefore, discussions about why you or another player are replacing out, or about whether a player should replace out, tend not to be treated with the same "people could be potentially lying" attitude as discussions about other aspects of the game (you shouldn't have to lie about Real Life circumstances). As such, replacements can sometimes lead to an extraneous source of confirmed information that violates the game balance, and as a precaution, players are requested to avoid replacement-related discussion in an attempt to cut down on that. (A side effect of all this is that if you want to replace out, you should tell the moderator via private message, not in the game thread.)
  14. If something goes wrong (due to moderator error, rulebreaking, or loopholes in these rules), I will try to act as necessary to restore the balance of the game to where it would have been without the rules violations. If I cannot restore the game to the same point, I will at least try to leave factions other than the offender's no worse off than they were before.
    Typical actions a moderator might take to restore the balance of the game: replace players; eliminate players; edit posts; privately or publicly send players corrected information; end the phase; change the rules. In most cases where something goes wrong, the moderator will publicly state the existence of a moderator error (or the like), but give no details; this has proved to give the best balance of ensuring that players don't draw incorrect conclusions, versus preventing players drawing correct but gamebreaking conclusions.

D. Prods and Activity

  1. If a player is inactive (i.e. fails to post in the game thread) for too long, they will be given a warning for inactivity; these warnings are known as prods, and sent both in-thread and (if the player would not immediately become eligible for force-replacement) via PM.
    Sending prods in-thread means that every player is aware of the state of the game (and that something is being done about inactive players). Sending them by PM helps to alert a player who might not be paying attention to the game (if they were paying attention, they probably wouldn't be inactive).
  2. If a player fails to make a game-relevant post within a given length of time after receiving a prod, the player will become eligible for force-replacement.
    That is, the player will be replaced as soon as a replacement becomes available. (If a player starts posting before the replacement is found but after the second prod timer has expired, they get to keep their slot for the time being.)
    Simple "I've been prodded, I'll post later" posts don't stop the prod timer, because players have a habit of making them and then not posting. A prod response post must: a) express at least one read on a living player; b) ask a question of a player; and/or c) answer a question asked by another player, in order to count.
  3. Being prodded may reduce your prod timers for future prods. (In particular, the third prod normally makes you eligible for force-replacement immediately.)
    The prod timers for each prod will be listed in the second post, in the form x+y; x is the number of hours of inactivity before a player is prodded, y is the number of hours after a prod that the player will be replaced. An example of a commonly used prod sequence is "first prod: 48+24, second prod: 48+24, third prod: 48+0"; this would give a player their first prod after 48 hours of inactivity (and replacing them after a further 24 hours), likewise for the second, and replacing the player immediately upon a third prod (i.e. 48 hours of inactivity some time after responding to a prod twice).
  4. If you know you're going to be inactive, let the moderator know in the game thread. This exempts you from activity requirements for the declared time period, although if you declare too much or too long a period of inactivity, you may need to be replaced anyway.
    The normal phrase for this is "V/LA", or "Vacation/Limited Access". Messages to the moderator should be bolded and typically marked with "@Mod" or similar text; for example, a V/LA request might look like @Mod: V/LA until Wednesday. Note that the User Control Panel has settings that allow you to specify vacation/limited access sitewide; you need to inform the moderators of the games you're playing in thread regardless of the setting, but changing the sitewide setting will add a helpful "V/LA" banner on your posts and so make life easier for the other players.
    You can also declare V/LA on a schedule (e.g. if you have no Internet access at weekends).
    If there's a chance you might be inactive during a Night phase, and thus miss your ability to send the moderator night actions via PM, you might want to arrange some other mechanism in advance with the moderator. (For example, you could specify the actions you wanted to take in advance, or allow another member of your anti-town faction to decide your actions for you.)
  5. If you can't find the time to participate in the game, or have some other major problem affecting your ability to play in it, you can replace via PM to the moderator.
    Replacements make the game worse for everyone; ideally, you'd either stick with things or avoid signing up in the first place. However, if things are likely to go badly anyway, a replacement may be less bad than the alternatives (e.g. replacing out immediately is better than disappearing, waiting for the prod timer to run out, and only then getting a replacement).
  6. If a player replaces in within 72 hours of a Day phase deadline, the deadline will be extended by 48 hours. This can only happen once per phase.
    Players replacing in often need time to catch up before they can fulfil the role of their slot. However, uncertainty as to the deadline can be unfair on the players (especially the Mafia, who often make plans based around deadlines). It's therefore important to have a consistent policy on how and when to extend the deadline. (In particular, deadline isn't suspended just because we're waiting for a replacement to be found, because that could lead to an unspecified extension to the day.)
  7. If you want to replace into this game, contact the moderator via private message.
    And thanks for being willing to fill in! If there's a slot available (i.e. a player replacing out), I'll be able to replace you in immediately; otherwise I'll have to wait until the slot opens. When replacing in, the slot that's been empty for longest is filled first; you don't get a choice of which slot to replace into.

Appendix: The Second Post

The second post of the game will state the following information:

  • Factions: The publicly known information about which factions are present in the game. Depending on the game, this might be secret, might list which factions are present but not their sizes, or might list each faction together with its size.
  • Phase sequence: Which phases will be used in this game, and in which order. This is usually a standard phase sequence, such as Day Start.
  • Deadlines: How long the deadlines for day and night phases are (or if it varies, the algorithm by which the deadlines are determined).
  • Prod timers: How much inactivity leads to a player getting each of their prods, and how long they have to respond to them.
  • Voting method: How the lynched player is determined from the votecount. This is typically either plurality or majority voting.
  • Daytalk: Are Mafia and Werewolf private threads unlocked during the Day, or only at Night?
  • Action limits: Can a player kill and perform another action overnight? Perform two actions?
  • Unusual rules: Often a game will depart from these rules in some way. This section lists details of any changed rules.
  • Setup information: Some games have an Open setup, in which case full details of which power roles and factional abilities exist is public knowledge. Those details are listed here. (Typically, the details are best explained in role PM form, in which case the sample role PMs give the details and this is just a summary.)
  • Sample role PMs: To further discourage cheating via discussion of role PM wording, a few role PMs are often given publicly to give, e.g., the Mafia an example of what a town role PM would look like.

(Why the second post? It's because the first post is used to summarize the current state of the game: player list, eliminated players, and the like.)